Mutual authentication

Mutual authentication, also known as two-way authentication, is a security process in which entities authenticate each other before actual communication occurs. In a network environment, this requires that both the client and the server must provide digital certificates to prove their identities. In a mutual authentication process, a connection can occur only if the client and the server exchange, verify, and trust each other's certificates. The certificate exchange occurs by means of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. The core of this process is to make sure that clients communicate with legitimate servers, and servers cooperate only with clients who attempt access for legitimate purposes.

The mutual authentication process involves the following certificates:

  • Root CA certificate
    Used to identify a certificate authority (CA) that signed a client's certificate. It is a self-signed certificate that meets the X.509 standard, defining the format of public key certificates. In IoT products, clients upload a root CA certificate or a certificate chain to verify that the certificates that client devices send to edge servers can be trusted.

  • Server SSL certificate
    Used to identify edge servers to client devices over TLS and to establish a secure connection during the TLS handshake. It is the enhanced TLS certificate that you provide in your property configuration.

  • Client SSL certificate
    Used to identify client devices to edge servers over TLS. This certificate must meet the X.509 standard, defining the format of public key certificates.


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